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‘I deserve to be here’: Teenage wisdom from A Wrinkle In Time’s Rowan Blanchard

photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop |

Whenever I get the chance to listen to a teenager share what they’re going through, I’m all ears. I have a vested interested. As the mother of two children who will eventually be teenagers, I want to be there for them in a way that my parents couldn’t be for me. There’s no excuse these days. So many films and books are sharing the authentic teen and pre-teen experience, and I’m grateful for it.

The new Disney film A Wrinkle In Time, although it was made for children, is a must see for parents. Rowan Blanchard who plays Veronica, Meg Murry’s bully, sat down to talk to about the film and shared some insight about her experience as a young woman. I was moved and reminded how important it is to shut my mouth and let the kids talk.

Here are some great insights from Rowan that we can take and learn from.

photo credit: Disney

Kids need to see themselves represented on screen.

Rowan Blanchard: A Wrinkle In Time marks such an incredible and unique time in history where so many people who have never seen themselves on screen are able to go to a film and see themselves starring in a huge sci-fi movie. That’s massive.  I was just looking on Twitter, there’s a lot of organizations led by young teenage black girls to buy movie tickets for a bunch of other young black girls to go see this movie. Just that alone, the fact that people are organizing like this and are so prepared and ready for this thing to come out makes me feel so excited to be even a small part of it.

Bullies are often hurting themselves.

Rowan Blanchard: The bully is always the person who’s hurting so deeply inside, which is such a stereotypical thing to say but very true.

Young people deserve to be in the room.

Rowan Blanchard: I have to give myself permission to be a warrior on the daily.  It’s not something that is a very conscious thing where I feel totally empowered and fearless every day.  There are some areas that I feel more confident and then others.  Coming off of that panel with Oprah, Reese and Mindy, I felt like the odd one out.  I will tell you guys the truth. Then there was a second where I have to be like, I deserve to be here and like, I’m here, a part of something bigger than myself.  There’s just so many moments on the daily where I have to remind myself that it’s okay that I am in the room.

Kids get sad sometimes. 

Rowan Blanchard: Adults are so shocked when teenagers say that they’re sad, which is really interesting.  And especially that age like 11, 12, I remember that was the time where I was most confused because those are right before you’re a teenager. You know that when you’re a teenage girl, there are certain things that you are expected to do.  But those years right before our where you’re not a baby but you’re not like a teenage girl.  And they’re really developmental, I think really scary years.

Girls are watching how women occupy spaces.

Rowan Blanchard: One thing that I grew up sort of watching directors do–, it’s so normal to scream at people or to like use your voice in ways that are very aggressive in order to get what you want.  It’s always sort of inspiring and interesting for me to watch how women directors have to occupy the space that’s been left for them to get the attention and to get the take that they want without being as aggressive because you can’t.  You’ll be called a diva or you’ll be called very hard to work with.

About A Wrinkle In Time

From the studio:From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic that takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light, good versus evil and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.

A Wrinkle In Time opens on March 9, 2018 and stars Storm Reid as Meg Murry, Levi Miller as Calvin, Deric McCabe as Charles Wallace, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Mrs. Murry, Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, and Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which. The film is directed by Ava DuVernay.

Follow the #WrinkleInTimeEvent hashtag for continued coverage of the film!

Sami Cone

Tuesday 13th of March 2018

Brandi, I LOVE how you offered us not only Rowan's wisdom at such a tender age we (as grown women) can remember and relate to, but also boiled it down for us in your own synthesized comment after each quote. I'm so glad you had this opportunity!